The International Wrestling Association of Japan, more commonly known as IWA Japan, was a Japanese professional wrestling promotion operating from 1994 to 1996 and again from 2011 onwards. It was formed by Victor Quiñones as a successor to the W*ING promotion, which was folding at the time as a rival to Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling (FMW), the pioneer of deathmatch wrestling in Japan and the only deathmatch promotion in Japan at the time. Most of the wrestlers jumped ship to Quiñones' new IWA Japan group. He found a sponsor in Tatsukuni "Kinroku" Asano, a business man who owned several restaurants in Tokyo and had bought and run several wrestling shows prior to IWA Japan.
|International Wrestling Association of Japan|
|Style||Deathmatch (original)<br />Comedy (current)|
They had their first show in Yokosuka, Kanagawa on May 21, 1994 which was taped for television. The early shows often featured many ex-W*ING wrestlers like Yukihiro Kanemura, Shoji Nakamaki, Nobutaka Araya and The Headhunters. They also had fans to fill out questionnaires about the shows and sometimes gave away freebies. Quiñones booked talent from all over the world to compete in IWA, including Cactus Jack and Terry Funk who engaged in some of their most famous bouts.
DVD Release of IWA Japan's King of the Deathmatch Tournament
|Promotion||International Wrestling Association of Japan|
|Date||August 20, 1995|
|City||Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan|
With IWA getting more popular due to the charisma of some of their wrestlers, they decided to produce a show called Kawasaki Dream, which was held on August 20, 1995 at the Kawasaki Baseball Stadium. The main attraction of the show was the first ever 8-man single elimination deathmatch tournament, which featured Cactus Jack, Terry Funk, Shoji Nakamaki, Hiroshi Ono, Leatherface, Tiger Jeet Singh, Terry Gordy and former FMW wrestler Mr. Gannosuke. The show also featured an NWA World Heavyweight Championship defense, as Tarzan Goto challenged then-champion Dan Severn for the title.
|1D||Keisuke Yamada and Keizo Matsuda defeated Yoshihiro Tajiri and Taisuke Tagami||Tag team match||11:44|
|2D||Kiyoko Ichiki defeated Emi Motokawa||Singles match||10:24|
|3||Tiger Jeet Singh defeated Mr. Gannosuke||Barbed Wire Board and Chain match; IWA King of the Deathmatch tournament quarter-final match||7:11|
|4||Terry Funk defeated Leatherface||Barbed Wire Board and Chain match; IWA King of the Deathmatch tournament quarter-final match||8:54|
|5||Cactus Jack defeated Terry Gordy||Barbed Wire Baseball Bat and Thumbtacks match; IWA King of the Deathmatch tournament quarter-final match||6:58|
|6||Shoji Nakamaki defeated Hiroshi Ono||Barbed Wire Baseball Bat and Thumbtacks match; IWA King of the Deathmatch tournament quarter-final match||7:19|
|7||Takashi Okano defeated Flying Kid Ichihara (c)||Singles match for the WWA International Light Heavyweight Championship||17:01|
|8||Iceman defeated Kamikaze||Singles match||9:45|
|9||Terry Funk defeated Tiger Jeet Singh||Barbed Wire Board and Glass match; IWA King of the Deathmatch tournament semi-final match||6:04|
|10||Cactus Jack defeated Shoji Nakamaki||Barbed Wire Board and Spike Nail match; IWA King of the Deathmatch tournament semi-final match||9:49|
|11||The Headhunters (Headhunter A and Headhunter B) defeated Los Cowboys (El Texano and Silver King) (c)||Tag team match for the IWA World Tag Team Championship||17:59|
|12||Dan Severn (c) defeated Tarzan Goto via technical knockout||Singles match for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship||11:35|
|13||Cactus Jack defeated Terry Funk||Barbed Wire Rope, Exploding Barbed Wire Boards and Exploding Ring Time Bomb Deathmatch; IWA King of the Deathmatch tournament final match||13:21|
|Tiger Jeet Singh||7:11|
|Tiger Jeet Singh||Pin|
Quiñones left IWA at the end of 1995, along with the NWA affiliation. Goto, Gannosuke, and Flying Kid Ichihara followed suit in late-1996 to join Tokyo Pro. Subsequently, IWA started to go downhill after losing much of the talent that Quiñones booked.
The promotion folded on October 13, 2014, following its 20th anniversary event and the retirement of Asano.